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Dr. Boyce Watkins; University of Miami Football Program, NCAA Death Penalty thanks to Booster…

August 19, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) The University of Miami may see its storied football program go up in smoke after it was determined that a booster gave money, gifts and other sorts of lavish items to players in order to entice them to join the football program. So, it appears that the University of Miami is guilty of the same sins as so many other programs who have also decided to compensate players for their labor.

The “crimes” at Miami are just as egregious as the ones that led to the dismissal  of Ohio State University football coach, Jim Tressel. In Tressel’s case, players were trading their own autographs for free tattoos. I hope you can hold back your anguish as I describe the blatant ferocity of these horrific crimes.

The NCAA says that a long list of Miami players, who generated millions for NCAA administrators, coaches and sports commentators “broke the rules” by getting paid from their labor like everyone else. But you have to laugh at the sheer irony that those who make the rules are the first ones in line to earn a profit from those very same regulations. Were it not for the labor being generated by these athletes, the administrators scrutinizing their behavior wouldn’t be able to pick up their own paychecks.

The NCAA’s appalled reaction to players getting paid is no different from the father who considers it to be scandalous that his 21-year old daughter is having sex with her boyfriend. Rather than seeing things as they really are (that his daughter has a right to freedom of choice), he would rather hold onto a delusion of innocence and purity built and maintained at his daughter’s expense.  Therefore, with each passing day, there is yet another “scandal” just waiting to be uncovered because the father refuses to come to reality.

NCAA athletes are not “daddy’s little girls,” possessing the innocence that NCAA administrators seek to maintain. It is a sports entertainment behemoth, earning more money during March Madness than the NFL, NBA and Major League baseball earn during their post seasons. Billions of dollars are being passed across the table in exchange for athletic performance, with athletes themselves being traded like commodities and paraded like farm animals, all for the nation’s enjoyment.  This loss of innocence was driven by greedy NCAA regulators, who’ve signed the multi-billion dollar TV rights deals, creating ungodly amounts of pressure for student athletes to perform on the court or the field in front of a national audience.  There’s no such thing as a normal college experience when you are under the pressure of big time college athletics.

In addition to turning this professional sports league (yes, I said professional) into an economic beast that puts money ahead of all else, NCAA administrators are also the ones who choose to take athletes out of class so they can play on ESPN games across the country. They are the ones who allow for lopsided multi-million dollar compensation deals for coaches who have more incentive to win games than to educate.  So, the NCAA is like the father who expects his daughter to live an innocent life, when he himself was the one who stole her innocence in the first place.  NCAA regulators can’t argue that street agents, boosters and others are exploiting college athletes by paying them, when they are merely producing a more ethical form of exploitation than the NCAA itself.

To kill the University of Miami football program because some of its players were given money to feed their families is like jailing someone during slavery for teaching a slave how to read. Over 150 years ago, it was “against the rules” for slaves to learn how to read or for Americans to harbor fugitive slaves who’d run away from their masters.  But the truth is that few Americans took the time to determine if the rules were ethical, humane, honest or fair. The idea that some are allowed to get wealthy from the labor of NCAA athletes, while their mothers are not allowed to profit from their children’s God given abilities is an insult to the intelligence of the American people and a fundamentally racist, hypocritical and borderline disgusting concept.

The University of Miami did nothing wrong. College athletes should have labor rights just like the rest of us. There is nothing scandalous about an American worker being compensated for his labor.   Let’s please get back to reality.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit http://BoyceWatkins.com.


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5 Responses to “Dr. Boyce Watkins; University of Miami Football Program, NCAA Death Penalty thanks to Booster…”
  1. Jdgwisd says:

    Great article. As to the comments…
    a. Like it or not Brandon, college athletics is a multi billion dollar business that exploits the talents of athletes that oftentimes lack the critical thinking skills most of society takes for granted. Name a college or university that has an athletic program, and I can find several athletes who’s grades are barely kept in compliance with the NCAA rules for that particular division. Education is oftentimes given lip service. As a college student I was able to hold on to a job that paid me well. I was also not tied to practices, skull sessions, mandatory conditioning, or travel to games across the country. I too had to pay for my school via loans/grants. I also was FULLY aware of what I was getting into. b: Robert, unless you own your own business, you probably work for a public or private business. I would like to see how happy you would be when you have your bosses pay for the utility needs of your business, provide you with meals, athletic facilites, and a generous workschedule. Then not pay you for your services. Understand, your boss is providing you a job. You should be happy. That is the twisted logic that is used about paying college athletes. And Dr. Watkins is correct. It is a racial issue. It never ceased to amaze me how much in denial non minority Americans are. You can’t wash away 5 centuries of a thought that subjgates and dominates another culture at the blink of an eye. The human condition is still struggling with racial issues that plagued America at the turn of the 20TH CENTURY, LET ALONE THE 21ST. Pay the athetes, and remove the illusion that college athletics is a simon pure entity. It’s not. Or ever was, for that matter.

  2. BKKNOWS says:

    The” U,” is a university with one of the most outstanding Law Schools in America. Let’s conduct our own investigation on protecting our great educational system. It seem, that a convicted felon ( Nevin Shapiro) credibility should not indicate anything. His comments should not be allowed towards an NCAA investigation because of his incarceration.
    Yahoo Sports should be sued by the “U,” for damages because they released this story before the NCAA completed their own investigation. In America we are innocent before considered guilty but in Miami case, we are guilty by way of association. Association with a convicted felon ( Nevin Shapiro) who we thought were a legitimate booster. Let’s not forget, a booster that exploited college kids that should be enjoying life while getting a good education.
    The “U,” must get their Lawyers ready to find out if Yahoo Sports, as well as, the NCAA violated their rights; for the way they conducted this entire matter. If we fall, let’s fall fighting for our great university because this could devastate the”U” for years to come.>>>> Go Canes.

  3. brandon m says:

    I will have to be honest in saying I understand 100% where you are coming from. But to think these kids need to be paid is ridiculous. I was a student athlete and I am now a NCAA D1 coach. You have to understand that these kids are not working, they are playing games. Games that will in no way shape or form contribute to society other than to entertain us. The athletes on full scholarship have it good, trust me. They don’t have bills, they have food and a roof over their heads (in most parts a pretty nice apartment). This is all they need at this point. Athletics isn’t about them making money, it’s about teaching them the how to be fair and ethical. It’s about teaching them to work for what they want and pay their dues(you work hard enough you will go to the professional ranks and you will recieve your education) This may sound crazy seeing that some of these administrator may be crooked but two wrongs don’t make a right. These athlete know they are being paid with a free education, in return for them to do something they love to do.
    I’ve heard some of them try and act like its harder then what it really is being a college athlete, well I was on a partial track scholarship at a very small D1 school and alot of my friends on the bball team had alot given to them and they can’t make it on their own now as adults. Half are on facebook posing with their shirts off, rapping with gold front like they are still in college and they are now between 28-30. They weren’t taught how to be mature, all they knew was they were basketball players and that they wouldn’t have to work for what they wanted. WHile the rest of us learned how to survive, budget, live and work for what we wanted.
    The difference is if you start paying these athletes you will have a bunch of kids making money that they wouldn’t know what to do with. It would take away the difficult lifestyle of college that gets you ready for the real world. And we will have given in to the mindset of thinking they are owed something for nothing. Only way I could see making this fair is not paying for their education and letting them get paid. They could pick between those two choices because as a former athlete (and I had it very hard, no car, tough practices, no money, taking out loans to pay for school etc…) and now as a coach I can tell you these athletes lives are really easy for the most part. If they needed money that bad they would get a job (I did).

    As a coach I can tell you there are ALOT of things that administrators and coaches do behind that scenes that they don’t get any recognition for and you will never see. All you may see if the actual coaching which is the fun and challenging part. You will never see the long nights making recruiting calls, the careful budgeting, all the ncaa rules we have to memorize, battles with compliance, the time away from our families and the constant mentoring of these athletes, who have to do nothing except showup and compete and don’t do anything stupid.
    They aren’t in a position to earn money off of their abilities because they are amateurs, when they become professionals then they can make money.
    I thought the present set up was a sweet deal
    showup+compete+don’t do anything stupid=free education

    The problem is kids feel like they are owed because they are the ones putting on the show. Thats fine for an young kid to feel that way, this generation feels like they are entitled anyway. I coach at a small school and even the kids there feel entitled, I can imagine how kids may act at a major division 1 school.
    However when adults start to feel like they should be paid what does it say about our society. It says we think it’s fine if you don’t pay your dues and as soon as you complain, people will give you what you want.
    Thats not the way of the world. Pay your dues and you will recieve the benefits of doing so, thats the way the world works.

  4. Robert M says:

    The players ARE paid. I’m sorry if these players aren’t intelligent enough to realize the value of a college degree. Chances are they would earn an additonal $25K A YEAR in salary compared to someone without a degree. That’s an additional $1million in earnings. You don’t think a degree has that kind of value? Tell that to the millions of people who owe $50-$100K in student loans that they took out in order to get that degree. They had to, because they’re not athletic enough to have it GIVEN to them for FREE. If the athletes CHOOSE not to take advantage of a FREE education, that’s their own fault, not mine. Talk to their parents for not teaching them better.

    In addition, no one provides me with a personal trainer, state of the art weight room, health plan, personal tutors and all the other benefits those athletes get for FREE.

    And by the way, Dr. Watkins, nice job of trying to turn this into a race issue.

  5. Chauncey Jones says:

    I hope people are not surprise by University of Miami getting caught. Unfortunately this is reality. Many times the coaches escape punishment, because they leave the school and end up coaching somewhere else. Look at Pete Carroll at USC, the University of Maryland that coached Len Bias, and even John Wooden at UCLA. I knew a player at the school that told me of some of the things going on. It was not until Wooden retired and they hired his assistant coach as Head Coach, who happen to be Afro-American that things began to fall apart. Same with the UCONN Coach and his past history at major Basketball Schools. The Major School Sports is revenue generators, especially Football and Basketball and you know these Universities are not going to let that revenue go.

    Academics are out the window, I recall a story that a school in the New England had a Basketball Coach that had some loosing seasons, but the majority of his Players Graduated, but he was fired because of his loosing seasons.

    I know the NCAA President promised to cleanup the sports, but will it happen. There is too much money involved.

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